Burley Goes, Coyle Stays?
Owen Coyle was continually linked to the the role of Scotland manager after George Burley's team failed to qualify for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa earlier this year. They were finally knocked out of the competition after failing to beat Holland at Hampden Park back in September 2009. A game they lost 1-0 thanks to a late goal by Eljero Elia after 81 minutes.
In the end Burley survived calls for his resignation but since that time he has failed to inspire the team in a couple of friendlies.
The Scots went down 2-0 away to Japan back last month before losing 3-0 to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday; a match that appears to have been the final straw for the patient Scottish FA. Burley along with assistants Terry Butcher and Paul Hegarty were sacked yesterday after just 22 months in charge.
The former Ipswich and Hearts manager had won just three of his 14 games in charge.
Gordon Smith, SFA chief executive, said in a statement: 'It is with regret that we announce George Burley's departure. We now have four months until our next scheduled match, against Czech Republic, and will therefore utilise the intervening period to ensure we attract the best possible replacement to take Scotland forward'
The sacking has caused inevitable speculation as to who might succeed him.
Former Aberdeen and Dunfermline boss Jimmy Calderwood and Hibernian manager and former Scoland midfielder, John Collins appear to be early candidates who have thrown themselves into the ring expressing a desire to be considered for the job.
Other potential candidates who have been linked with the role include Craig Levein, Walter Smith, Jim Jeffries and Gary McAllister.
But where does that leave Owen Coyle? Well once more thankfully he seems to have ruled himself out of the job.
Speaking to the Official Site he said:
'I love it at Burnley. My job is here and that's what I will look to continue to do.I have got a job here to do what we are doing in the Premier League and I don't want any distraction ahead of the game against Aston Villa on Saturday. I am the Burnley manager. I have been in the position before when there's been advances from other clubs.I have always said I am loving everything I am doing at the football club and that remains the case, so I think that would tell everybody my feelings'
Clarets fans will be heartened by those sentiments but no doubt quite a few more will be a lot happier when the new Scotland gaffer position is resolved and a new man without the initials 'OC aka G.O.D' is firmly ensconced! It looks like though the wait could be protracted with the Scotland FA under no pressure to find a replacement until the New Year. As mentioned above they have a friendly against the Czech Republic but that wont be played until March next year. It looks like however they will want to have resolved the situation with a new manager in charge before the draw for the Euro 2012 qualifying games is made in February.